One of the most confusing aspects of American life, whether you are an international student, scholar, or anyone living in the USA is filing taxes. It is the responsibility of every person to pay taxes in every year spent in the United States.
Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is the agency that collects and administers the taxes on behalf of the Government of the U.S. It is responsible when it comes to federal taxes.
Even if you don't earn any money, still you are required to file a US tax return. Along with filing a federal tax form, if you have earned an income in another state, you might have to file to the state.
Various firms in the United States are offering their services in this regard. They not only formulate different economical tax strategies for individuals but also for small/large businesses.
What is a Tax Return?
The Government needs tax returns to keep a track of how much people are earning and ensure that people are paying the correct amount in taxes. Steps to be kept in mind regarding tax return are as follow:-
● Confirm your tax filing. There are two possible options, if you have a green card you are have spent 5 years in the USA, you are a resident alien but if you are here on some visa then you are a nonresident alien.
● Determine if you have any US source income. The question that comes to mind is that what US source income is. IF you are an RA, TA, or have a fellowship and receive a stipend, or if you are working a job and receive a salary or wages. It does not include scholarships that only cover tuition or money from your native place.
● Determine the appropriate tax forms. If you are a non-resident alien with no US source income, you only need to fill a form called, "From 8843" which is a simple two pages form and you get a couple of extra months to fill it. If you are a non-resident alien with US source income, you will need to fill in "Form 8843" and “Form 1040NR (-EZ). It should be submitted by April 15 each year. If you are a resident alien, your income is generally subject to tax in the same manner as a US citizen and you do not need to fill “From 8843” but instead fill “Forms 1040, 1040A, and 1040EZ.
● Gather the necessary documents. To fill the forms you'll need some documents including, a passport, from I-20 (F-Visa) or DS-2019 (J-Visa), social security number or individual taxpayer identification number, and from w-2 if you are working a job.
● Fill out the tax forms. You can complete your tax forms by first finding the appropriate forms on IRS.gov. Fill in the information based on your necessary documents.
● Print, sign, and mail your forms before the deadline. Print it out, sign and dispatch to the address given in the forms. If you feel any trouble filling the forms or need any assistance you can always contact experts/professionals on for tax advising or referrals.
- Taxes are an unfortunate reality for most people living and working in the modern world. We pay them every year, we complain about them and we forget them until next year.
- According to a NerdWallet poll, over a third of us employ tax preparers or tax consultants to file our tax returns, but few of us know anything about them